Aram “The SGV Tour” continues at Damien … Coach Gano discusses the pressure and expectations at Sparty …

I had a great and long visit with the Damien staff today. It was all about football and nothing else. These guys are ready to go and and realize they’re going to have to do the proverbial “coach ’em up” job this season because the Spartans are light on experience.

Here’s my interview with Damien coach Greg Gano.

About the team. They were doing conditioning only on Thursday. Do they pass the look test? For the most part, yes. But I’d like to see more in pads to give an honest answer. I got to get familiar with some of their skill guys at the Jason David workouts, so I had an idea of what’s there. And like Gano says, they’re “going to be alright.”

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  • Needs more Interviews!

    hey aram any interviews from the players and what the say about the up coming season?

  • Norco

    Whats with you and the “look test”? wow…

  • saladays

    “We’re inexperienced” “We expect to go 14-0” “we’re a couple years away” “we are going to do it like we always have” “a lot of blocking and tackling”

    Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth which is it? Are you young? Or are you going 14-0? Kind of a big difference. I don’t know who on Gano’s staff is going to teach blocking and tackling to the kids no one, on that staff has ever taught those things before, especially at Los Altos.

    This is like Tom Flores coaching the Seahawks. But hey Damien your only two years away which makes four years total for Damien and Gano. Maybe he just forgot High School is only four years. Or none of the existing talent at Damien is good enough senior to freshman for Gano.

  • Aaron

    I’ve seen more pass the look test and amount to nada than guys that don’t pass the look test and just shred.

    Mr. Corona could shed light on this but I’ve been told Damien’s frosh class is just barely over 100. If it is that shows that the classes will continue to get smaller and they won’t be competing in the Inland Division in the next re-leaguing. I’m being serious, can you say Valle-Vista league champs?

  • Aaron,

    They really like the current sophomore class and the incoming frosh class. After that, I don’t know, but you combine those two classes and get another good frosh class next year, you’ve got something. What Damien and Gano need is the ability to get transfers in, which is something that’s rarely happened at Damien, but it can.

  • cjpackfan

    wow, have you ever heard a guy more committed to going .500 in your life, did GG just sell his soul out to Fr Travers? look for a change soon, this level of HS football is over their heads

  • Aaron


    I’m not saying a small school can’t play with the bigs. St Bonaventure has just barely 600 and look where they compete. However, since Damien is in my home town I’ll believe it when I see it. Damien’s brand doesn’t draw like Bishop Amat, St Francis, ND, Loyola, Oaks Christian and Serra.

    However, my info came from with the community that is Holy Name…you see more Amat families vs Damien families as of late. One can hope, but you just see more kids swelling the ranks of the Public Schools. Neither La Verne or San Dimas have room to grow and yet their enrollment has increased, moreso at Bonita…back in 2007 when I graduated we were close to 1700, now they’re close to 2000…but the demographics still haven’t shifted in favor of football like at some schools.

  • Focus on within

    Damien’s freshman football team has 100 players on it and the class is over 250.
    Your right their talent pool is not deep enough yes and it is questionable if it ever will be.
    That being said I can tell you one thing for certain the have enough depth to ensure they dont have to field a 5’6 155 middle linebacker with a drunkin dad blogger,so they are at least that much ahead of Bonita.
    Just sayin…..

  • 14-0 ok yea right ……….

    Comments I heard from one of Gano’s coaches they feel they have a shot at the league title but no plans at all to compete for a CIF title not now, two years or in ten years. They are working on the five year plan, league realignment. Damien doesn’t draw the talent needed to compete at that level.

    I know how Aram feels about Gano and staff but sorry they don’t even come close to Hag and staff. That is the reason why this program will never win a CIF title in the current division. Gano has always needed the most talented team on the field to win a championship. Coaching is Damiens weakness not strength.

  • Good things are happening

    The Gano haters can second guess all you you want but you can never take away his championships. The comments made on this board are entertaing to say the least as if there are coaches all over the valley that win championships all the time with no talent…lol
    As for his role at Damien, there is no dening the staff and team are working harder than any team in recent memory at Damien. Thats all you can ask for.
    And off the field he has also been doing all the right things with the weight room being the most evident thing. That would not have happpen without him.
    So Gano is correct the program is on the right track and improving. Damien will field hard working competitive teams and as far as I am conserned everything else… is what is.

  • No-step

    Focus on within:
    You are exactly right. The current staff is capable on a (much) lower lever, but over their head in this division. The school admin. is outdated. Some of GG’s philosophy, the part where he won’t platoon, for example, gets fewer kids on the field and they cannot specialize on a particular position. They will hover around .500 ball for the next couple of years until they fire GG and try to get John Monger.

  • Mean Machine

    Aram and Aaron,

    Not sure what’s to say now. The “damage” is done. Gano walked into a situation unlike any other. If the truth be known he operated last year with one arm tied behind his back and still walked away with a share of the SIerra League title and some memorable close games that a few players “bailed” on. That’s the sad truth and Gano to his amazing credit never “bailed’ on his kids, even those oh so special players who did everything but throw the kitchen sink into the Gano machinery trying to prove a point to no one but themselves.

    Any one who was at games or practices will tell you that’s a fact. I’ll say this up front. I didn’t agree with Gano on his handling of those players but, again to his amazing credit, he taught me a thing or two about being in charge and seeing the bigger picture. I’ll always respect him for that. Maybe last year’s team dynamics set him back a few years in terms of wins or maybe it made those side line watchers admire him more…I’d say it’s a bit of both, and that’s a healthy thing. MOst “parents” whispered their displeasure with the players but ALL followed Gano’s lead…and stay focused to the job at hand…building a program we can all be proud of.

    This year the wins will come, I’m sure of that but so too will the beatings. ANd that’s a healthy thing as well. Beating make teams, coaches and communities come together and address their shortcomings. Look what happened to CO at Damien after the Spartans abused Carreon and Co…they switched to Allen and the rest is history.

    Damien reminds me of an unwanted teanage pregancy. Lots of shouting, finger pointing and crying but once teh “baby” is born every one does one of two things (actually more but for teh sake of teh analogy let’s stay on point). You either learn from your situation, and everything that went into it, or you do it all over again and spiral into a life of even more complex problems.

    Damien had all the warning signs of a poorly monitored and administrated program and did nothing. All that potential and promise gone up in smoke to the point where we’re discussing yet another four win season and a complte lack of talent or depth at all levels 9not my words mind you but Arams and others). That’s a stunning turn of events after seeing Johnson, Brown Hernandez, Miller, Mendrun,Harper, Mc Mahon, Pertusati Salter, Hale, Matthews ect ect ect ect ect. only a few years ago when Damien annually had some of the Valley’s largest linemen.

    Now Damien has to revamp a whole program in the midst of several “public” school runs, CO, GHS, SD, DR, SH and WC if the rumors are true…not to mention Upland, Claremont and Chino Hills and to an extent Ayala…not to mention Cathedral Serra, Notre Damne, Crespi, ST. Francis and of course Bishop Amat. Is it any wonder more Holy Name of Mary students now attend other schools and not Damien, as was previously a given?

    I like what Gano and all his coaches stand for and how they handled last year’s seniors. They are all bigger men than I could have been, given their circumstances. Add a Price and a Spooner to the coaching mix and I’d say Gano will field a winner next year. You heard it here first. Besides I hate to wait and think anything is possible if players commit..and they seem to have learned from last year’s players.

    I’ve said what’s on my mind since day one and had my kids paid dearly for my comments. I can tell you Gano and Co aren’t cowards that way….and that’s huuuuge at Damien where money talks and critics suffer a fate worst that the Spanish Inquisition, lol. As a freshmen coach told me, “Practice all out, know your plays and bring your huevos…that gets you on the field.’ As it should be.

    For Damien to really stop the bleeding they need to make a couple of administrative changes and go “all in” with Gano and his staffs. No more BS, No more Alumni BS and no more BS that allows coaches to trash kids for comments people make on a stupid blog.

    Gano was a god send for Damein Football as Leyva was for Damien Baseball. Too bad it took all the BS to finally see the light and for the games to stop.

    I heard that Gano said he was “getting beat up on the blog” and I thought to myself…”ReallY”…by who? Some know nothings that don’t have a vested interest in “our” school?” So what! “Take care of those that love you …and we ALL LOVE YOU” is what I tell Gano.

    You know I’m exhausted by all the BS that Damnien “parents/coaches” heaped on my boys to silence me but I do appreciate the new Damien that has parents and players excited about going to practice and competing for the “team”. Was it a mistake to be so vocal on this blog. Yeah for sure, seeing how weak minded some coaches have behaved, but I like what came from it…I ‘d say a more united Damien.

    And much like that “bundle of joy” it’s not how we got “here ” that matters as much as “doing the right thing” from here on in.

    Coach Gano and Co have nothing to fear from the parents who actually have kids at Damien….and that’s all that matters!!!

    We have our man and we’re backing him all the way to a Championship …you heard it here first !

    …now if we can get the ’72 Miami Dolphins …opps I mena the Damien Championship Alumni on board we might really accomplish something.

    Just kidding!

  • The Real Gano

    For those of you that don’t understand how Gano works it all about himself. Gano really is a very insecure person. That is the reason why this blog keeps him up at night. As the head coach of a program his ability to pull you kid if you don’t conform has been the leverage he has used in the past. This coaching method comes with its long term issues. Damien has just seen the tip of it; these issues will manifest themselves over the years and will only get worse.


    D-face Corona reminds me of an abortion.

    Fix the damn trash cans!

    Shut up D-face!

  • Slurpee

    Hey Mean Machine, when your telling Gano that you love him…..I bet your looking up huh?